DALLAS, TEXAS – August 12, 2015 – It’s that time of year again…the State Fair of Texas is back, bringing all your favorites, plus a few new additions too! Following a record-breaking 2014 season, the Fair is kicking off its 24-day run with an all-star lineup of food, festivities and family fun. Celebrating 129 years of Lone Star tradition, the 2015 exposition is themed “Passport to Texas” and opens Friday, September 25 in historic Fair Park. Big Tex will be waiting to greet fairgoers with his signature, “Howdy, folks!” and ready for another round of Texas-sized fun.
Fair food fanatics will love the newest addition to the Fair’s list of daily discount programs – Thrifty Thursdays. Through this initiative, participating food vendors are offering one of their signature menu items at a reduced price, ranging from mini versions to regular-size items. Perfect for fairgoers wanting just a tiny taste rather than a full-size meal, or families looking for new ways to save while still getting to enjoy their fair food favorites. Featured items include State Fair classics like corny dogs and funnel cakes, plus many more. A current list of participants is available at bigtex.com/thriftythursdays. Look for participating concessionaires every Thursday of the Fair and put your tasting skills to the test!
Bringing a feeling of Texas pride to the Pan Am Arena, the all-new Lone Star Horse Spectacular joins the Fair’s collection of crowd-pleasing shows. In this lively production, visitors get the chance to celebrate the rich history of our great state and each of its six flags as they are paraded through the arena. Themed to traditional Texas music, the event features professional riders on horseback, performing in coordination with the historical narrative. The Fair invites you to join Texas native Barry Corbin as he narrates the show, telling the spectacular story of the great Lone Star State!
Fairgoers will be blown away by the new and improved Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation. Set along a scenic reflecting pool, this nightly celebration has been completely remastered – wowing the crowd with dancing waters and twice the pyro than ever before. A unique and breathtaking event, the show combines fireworks and high-energy pop music with engaging dance performances. This sensational 16-minute production of synchronized pyrotechnics and special effects begins nightly at 8 p.m. along the Esplanade. Leading up to the after-dark extravaganza, the ZuZu African Acrobats will provide daily performances on the all-new Mattress Firm Stage on the Esplanade. With a new name and new location, these talented performers show off their amazing acrobatic skills and take the limbo to a whole new level.
With a brand new location this year, Big Tex’s Farmyard is back with even more activities and learning opportunities. This venue provides an educational experience through interactive exhibits as well as live animal displays, including calves, piglets and hatching chicks. Learn all about agriculture and its impact on the state of Texas, from the importance of farming and ranching to the process of raising and caring for animals. This kid-friendly attraction is now conveniently located near the Kids’ Boardwalk, which made its fair time debut last year. Returning acts like Ronald McDonald and Buford Buzzard join new additions such as an interactive magic show and a comical cowboy puppet, along with games, crafts and face painting.
After its successful run in 2014, Canstruction® will return as one of the Fair’s featured exhibits, where all structures will be created in line with this year’s State Fair theme, “Passport to Texas.” At the end of the competition, all canned food will be donated to the North Texas and Tarrant Area Food Banks. In addition, the State Fair is once again partnering with Kroger and the North Texas Food Bank to present “It’s A Fair Deal Wednesdays,” offering discounted admission every Wednesday throughout the run of the Fair. Visitors can bring four cans of food and get in for just $4, with all donations going directly to support local families in need. The Fair invites you to show your support and participate in this community initiative – don’t miss out on this steal of a deal!
Joining the list as the Hall of State’s annual exhibit for 2015 is “Big Texas Music,” honoring well-known Texas artists through memorabilia, audiovisual displays and social interactives, as well as daily live music performances from a wide variety of artists. The exhibit features both artists who were born in Texas and those who have lived here and consider themselves natives. Spanning numerous decades, “Big Texas Music” showcases famous Texas musicians from every genre, celebrating the diverse range of talent hailing from the Lone Star State. Falling in line perfectly with the Hall of State’s ode to Texas music, Mundo Latino is proud to present “Guitarras de Mexico” as its special exhibition this year. Housed inside the Women’s Museum, this year’s annual exhibit focuses on the history of guitars, guitar makers and guitarists. The showcase has a special focus on instruments made in Paracho, Michoacán – also known as the “Guitar Capital of Mexico.” Daily attractions include live music and dance performances, demonstrations from expert guitar makers and authentic, handcrafted merchandise from Mexico and various Latin American countries.
Home to one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the country, Fair Park’s African American Museum is devoted to the preservation and display of artistic, cultural and historical materials. Featuring both rotating and permanent exhibits, the museum is hosting “Bayou Sculptors: Call and Response” during this year’s Fair. This special exhibition showcases the work of renowned sculptors with ties to the Bayou, from Louisiana to Houston, Texas.
In addition to the 85 free concerts on the Chevrolet Main Stage, the Fair is adding even more new music to the 2015 lineup! The Fair’s other stages include the Bud Light Sound Stage in Cotton Bowl Plaza and the Dr Pepper Stage located behind the Creative Arts building. For the first time ever, these stages will feature rotating regional acts throughout the length of the Fair. The Tejas Brothers, Jennifer Nickerson and Ali Dee will take on the Bud Light Sound Stage, while The Killdares return to the Dr Pepper Stage, joining State Fair newcomers Chubby Carrier, Coffey Anderson and the Light Crust Dough Boys.
Back by popular demand, the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps will return for their annual patriotic display. The Corps will begin its Fair performances on September 25, including a special appearance in the Opening Day Ceremony and daily concerts at 4 p.m. in Marine Corps Square. Catch this event while you can – the Marines are only here until October 6! Following their departure, Marine Corps Square will play host to a new attraction, the State Fair of Texas Presents Native America. This special event will include demonstrations of both traditional and contemporary Native American culture through music, dance, art and more. Members of several different Native American nations will be in attendance, representing the unique traditions that are specific to their group. Giving fairgoers a taste of authentic Native American history, the event also includes a full-size teepee available for visitors to view. An expansive celebration of genuine Native American customs, this event is both educational and engaging for the whole family!
Serving as the featured entertainment for the Truck Zone Stage this year, renowned wood-carver Burt Fleming will show off his chainsaw skills by taking blank sections of timber and turning them into works of art. This unconventional artist adds a funky flair to the outdoor Auto Show venue, entertaining fairgoers with his one-of-a-kind creations.
Making its State Fair of Texas debut this year, Beer Haven is touted as the world’s largest bar on wheels – a 53-foot-long truck serving a wide variety of craft beers on tap. Throughout the run of the Fair, this mobile brewery will feature 60 different beers on tap every day, including a special collection of fair-themed brews like a cotton candy-flavored ale. Fairgoers get the chance to taste local brews while sitting and relaxing at the picnic tables in this shaded grassy locale. As an added attraction on weekends, this venue features live music and entertainment, including visits from brewers sharing tricks of the trade and performing beer-making demos every Saturday! Lager lovers can take their tasting experience even further by attending a Texas craft beer festival, an all-new event hosted in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium the final weekend of the Fair. Showcasing both local and international flavors from 70 different Texas breweries, this event is perfect for beer connoisseurs as well as guests who are new to the world of craft beer. Representing their brands, brew masters will also be in attendance, giving fairgoers the chance to talk to the experts and learn more about their unique creations.
Yet another new attraction concluding this year’s Fair, the Rooster Crowing Contest will bring spectators to their feet as competitors fight for the highest number of cock-a-doodle-doos! Open to all ages, this competition gives participants a limited period of time to coerce their roosters to crow, with the winning title going to the competitor with the most number of crows. Visitors can check out this farm frenzy on Sunday, October 18 in the Poultry Barn.
Looking forward to launching all of these new attractions in the 2015 exposition, the Fair still has a few more events leading up to the big day. Pre-Fair activities start this Friday with barrel racing competitions and continue with a variety of horse shows, including the Arabian Horse Show and the Mounted Shooters of America World Finals, on select weekends before Opening Day of the Fair. Another major event is, of course, the 11th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards. Giving guests a taste of the Fair before it starts, this yearly fair food competition will take place on Sunday, August 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the Tower Building. In 2014, a limited number of State Fair fans got the chance to attend the event and serve as taste-testers for the first time in the event’s history. With all proceeds from ticket sales going to the State Fair’s Youth Scholarship Fund, the event serves not only as a fried food festivity, but also supports the community and helps send local students to college.
Beginning in 2014, the State Fair launched the ongoing “Texification” project, aiming to further emphasize the feeling of Texas pride throughout the fairgrounds. Building off of last year’s additions, fairgoers will notice even more places around the grounds that have been “texified.” Brightening up the park more than ever before, additional lighting has been installed throughout several key areas of the Fair. Guests can enjoy a magical display of lights along a nighttime stroll.
Your ticket to the Fair is your ticket to Texas-sized fun – with hundreds of events included in the price of admission, you’ve got an all-access pass to free entertainment. Tickets, coupons and Season Passes are available now at BigTex.com with special discounted prices offered – hurry and get yours today before this promotion ends August 31!
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About the State Fair of Texas
Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a nonprofit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers. The 2015 exposition runs September 25 through October 18 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.